Today was an Ikea day for us. Its a bit of an event for us the kids run wild testing out the furniture and getting coo’d at by Japanese people the entire time. My oldest quickly made friends in the store with a pair of little boys that were about his age and very eager to use their English on him. They would run over and blurt out “thank you” then giggle and run away. My oldest seems to shrug off the attention from the adults (I am not sure that I fault him for ignoring them as on days like today he probably had 50+ people come up and pet his hair or tell him hes cute although I do try and prompt him into saying thank you and bye) The bug on the other hand eats it up He just loves all the attention he gets.
Anyway what I was originally meant to post about was the stark difference in seatbelt laws here in Japan. I noticed that they seem not to exist over here. Today while stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on the way to Ikea I happened to be behind a minivan with a 6 or 7 year old girl in the back of the van….building a fort in the car! No really she had a blanket she was stretching out like a tent in the back seat wondering from one side of the car to the other to do so and when she got it exactly where she wanted it she climbed inside. Also most Japanese moms that I know will carry their infants on their laps in a vehicle regardless of whether there is a car seat for the baby or not. Also while watching this little girl in the van in front of us build a fort I was passed by several family’s with unbelted children. A couple with children as young as my boys (I couldn’t even imagine what would happen if I let my boys run loose in the car while I drove. My 2 year old would probably immediately jump onto my lap and “help” me drive. With all of this said I have noticed “seatbelt campaign” signs on the highways here. So who knows either people totally disregard the law or maybe buckling up is only a suggestion here in Japan.